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Tour the chocolate factory with Charlie at the Chester Playhouse
Tour the chocolate factory with Charlie at the Chester Playhouse

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 CHESTER - The Chester Playhouse is pleased to take you on a journey through rivers of streaming chocolate with Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, August 14 to 17.

 The second Chester Summer Theatre School began July 21. The school gives young actors between the ages of eight and 18 an opportunity to learn about performing arts through hands-on experience. For three weeks, the youngsters build props, rehearse and develop their stage presentation skills.

 In the fourth week, the production moves to the Chester Playhouse, where the group presents before a live audience. "This show is going to be a big sell," says Susan Howard, public relations director. "John Shurko is very popular as a director and the title of the show is sure to be a draw."

 Participating in the theatre school is a privilege for many of the young actors who auditioned for their places in early May. Katherine Ryan, a 12 year old that is currently in her sixth theatre school, says, "The experience you gain from being involved in the theatre school and being on stage performing for an audience is great." While Chris Tuff, experiencing his first theatre school, is definitely finding it active. "All 'round fun involving high impact and high energy," he says.

 The characters in the play, including Augustus Gloop, Violet Beauregarde, Veruca Salt, Mike Teavee and Charlie Bucket find golden tickets hidden in the wrappers of millions and millions of Wonka chocolate bars. These lucky golden tickets are their pass to experience the madness behind the famous line of candy known as Wonka. Willy Wonka himself takes us on a tour through his factory where we will find bubble gum machines, chocolate rivers and glass elevators.

 "Lollipops, chocolate and bubble gum: we're having as much fun as that sounds," says John Shurko, director of the show. "This year's group have already begun to build candy cane trees and whipped-cream mushrooms. We can promise you a tour of a place where fantasy becomes reality and reality becomes fantasy."

 The cast for the second of two performance schools includes Alexander Bergeron, Parris Gordon, Katherine Ryan, Caleb Langille, Luke Langille, MacKenzie Keillor, Ian MacArthur, Tristan Hollett, Callum Hollett, Malaika Cunningham, Alexandre Schnare, Amy Vinnedge, Chris Tuff, Dane Junkin, Tristan Cleveland, Caiya Jowett-Ladd, Rachael Pineo and Aaron Webber.

 The show runs August 14 to 17, 8 p.m. There is also a low-cost matinee, 2 p.m., August 17.

 The Chester Playhouse is owned and operated by The Chester Theatre Council, a not-for-profit organization. It is recognized for featuring high-profile artists as well as local talents, and is vital to the cultural life of Nova Scotia's South Shore.

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